This is what’s called “Sun-Cheese” at a our local macrobiotic cafe, Casa de Luz. I think it tastes nothing like cheese, and has a totally unique texture, so I don’t like calling it that. It IS non-dairy though, and could be a great alternative to cheese dips for vegans. AND, like cheese, you can put it on most everything! You will love this served as a dip for celery, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and any raw vegetable you have in the house; a great appetizer for parties with pita toasts or crackers; and excellent as a sauce over greens (kale, collards, chard etc) or any cooked grain. We use it on our beans too! It’s pretty much an all around versatile sauce/dip that is a cinch to whip together.
Umeboshi Plum Vinegar (and Umeboshi plums): In Chinese medicine, ume plums and their vinegar are used for myriad health benefits, especially for the Liver. In the 1950s, scientists extracted a potent antibiotic substance from umeboshi, and it also helps with alkalizing the body and many digestive issues. Some even call it the “Japanese Alka Seltzer” because it will help the body rapidly break down excessive acids. The plums are extremely salty and sour, and can be eaten whole, but are often soaked in water or tea first to leach out some of the salt, or eaten as a paste or vinegar mixed with other foods. Umeboshi benefits most any liver condition; stress, emotional tension & repression; dehydration, headaches, and indigestion. It’s even reported to cure hangovers.
1 C sunflower seeds, raw and hulled and soaked for ~4 hours in water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp umeboshi vinegar (purchased at any health food store or good grocery)
1 clove garlic, cut in half
Strain the sunflower seeds and add all ingredients into a blender. Add ¾ C water and blend on high until creamy, smooth, & thickened. Thin with more water to desired consistency - may want it thicker for a dip, thinner as a sauce, etc.
*For variations, I like to add 1 Tbsp sesame tahini for a really smooth dip (think silky, light hummus), or even blend in some fresh basil leaves for an herbaceous kick. Also try drizzling some good olive oil or sunflower oil on top before serving. Use on beans, greens, grains, with veggies, tacos or anything else you can imagine!